If ever there was a time to set aside partisan bickering and political rivalries, it’s right now. Sadly, many in the mainstream media have no interest in doing so and will even ask pointed, leading, baiting questions designed to elicit criticism of President Trump and the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shortly after giving his daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared on CNN with Jake Tapper. Tapper told Newsom that he’d talked to “officials throughout the country…who temper their remarks and what they say about the federal government response for fear that President Trump will punish the citizens of their state if he considers them to be a complainer,” then asked if Newsom finds himself “by necessity, tempering any issues” he has with the federal government’s response.
Calif. Gov. @GavinNewsom: “Let me just be candid with you. I’d be lying to you to say that [Trump] hasn’t been responsive to our needs. He has. And so, as a question, as a sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly." pic.twitter.com/GLWGuACz7a
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 1, 2020
Before the coronavirus crisis, Newsom and Trump were often at each other’s throats on social media and in federal courthouses. The coronavirus pandemic has changed that, at least temporarily. Not only did Newsom refuse to take Tapper’s bait; he praised Trump’s responsiveness to the state’s needs.
I’ve been consistent – and Jake, you know this. We’ve been dealing with historic wildfires and droughts…here in California, and I’ve always said this. I said it a year ago. This is not a time to bicker….
When it comes to times of crisis, we need to raise above the partisanship. And I’ve extend always an open hand, not a closed fist, in these circumstances, and this is is no different.
But let me just be candid with you. I’d be lying to you to say that he hasn’t been responsive to our needs. He has. So as sort of an offer of objectivity, I have to acknowledge that publicly. And the fact is, every time I called the President he’s quickly gotten on the line. When we asked to get support for that Mercy ship in Southern California, he was able to direct that in real time. We got 2,000 of these field medical sites that are up, almost all operational now, in the state because of his support.
And those are the facts. We always want more. I could criticize this or that. At the end of the day we’re just trying to focus on developing a relationship of trust as a matter of course, because there’s just too many Americans, 40 million that live in this state, that deserve us to get together and get along.
Anyone who regularly follows California politics will acknowledge the difference in Newsom’s demeanor during his press conferences and appearances during this crisis. There’s a massive burden on his shoulders, and it’s apparent that he deeply feels that responsibility and takes it seriously. He’s right; there are too many Americans who deserve for Trump and Newsom (and every other governor) to get together and get along.